How to Spot Paint Walls

Dana Tuffelmire

Painted walls can become damaged by nails, cracks and accidents over time. Repairing the damage can be a challenge, especially if you do not have the original paint color. Smaller chips can probably be repaired with just a can of paint, but larger holes will need to be filled in, sanded and repainted.

It is important to match the original color when spot painting walls.
  1. Apply lightweight joint compound to any nail holes or dents if necessary by smoothing it on with a putty knife or paint scraper. Leave a slight mound, as the compound will shrink as it dries.

  2. Sand the area with 150-grit sandpaper until it is flush with the wall.

  3. Apply primer with a paintbrush. Primer is only necessary if joint compound was used to fill a hole.

  4. Paint the spot with the original wall paint if possible. If not, try to match the original color as closely as possible. If the wall was originally painted with a brush, use a brush. If a roller was used, use a roller to spot paint.

  5. Apply a small amount of paint to the spot and "feather" the edges by starting at the outside edge of the touch-up area and working into the center. Feathering means drawing the brush from the area outside the spot to the newly painted area to create a transition that will blend the old with the new.

  6. Tip

    If the spot touch-up is noticeable, paint the entire wall from corner to corner and floor to ceiling. After the first coat dries, you may need to add an additional coat of paint.

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